2011 is the year of 'Big Data' or I so hear; organisations are collecting ever more data which may hold some value. The problem for many of these organisations is unlocking the value and turning this data into useable information. But I am not going to talk about how this is done; that is topic for another blog and perhaps for someone who has more expertise in that area; I am more interested on how we access the information and the tools that we use.
I wonder if we could see a change in how corporate IT is consumed; the explosion in mobile, non-traditional computing devices has led many to posit a future where much of IT is consumed in the form of apps; small specialised applications which do one or two things very well and this might very well be true but before these apps become truly useful to the corporate 'Knowledge Worker', there are other changes which need to happen.
The IT department needs to enable the access to the information and at times to the raw 'Big Data' to allow these workers to move beyond the superficial; it is the area of curation and publication which could well be the growth area for IT departments. Building information stores with standard APIs to allow the publication of information which these apps can access; the IT department may not necessarily control the apps and presentation but they will control the access to the data. They may publish reference clients in much the same way that Twitter publishes a reference client but does not mandate its use.
Technologies such as Object Storage for example will come to the fore as enabling technologies as will the already more established interfaces for exposing data and information but instead of trying to restrict the use of these to IT applications; more innovative uses will be encouraged.
IT moves away from supporting individual devices but simply provides interfaces to Corporate Information and at that point becomes truly the 'Information Technology' department and not the 'PC Support department'.
I think we are some years away from this happening and there will always be a place for traditional IT as it does support many essential functions but it's probably a more interesting future for many of us than the current status quo.